I'm Using a Trackball (Logitech ERGO M575)¶
I've always heard stories about people worshipping the trackball for e.g. comfort, precision, curing their carpal tunnel, etc., but I've never used one… until now.
Note: this blogpost has no insight whatsoever. It's just me talking random stuff about my new trackball.
Joke's on me, the first thing I did after putting it on my desk is to instinctively attempt to drag it around. Obviously the rubber pads on the bottom stopped me from doing that.
The hole on the bottom is large enough for me to poke my pinky through and push out the trackball.
It turns out, like a regular optic mouse, it's also laser powered.
The three tiny white dots you see are rollers that support the trackball and maintain friction. Allegedly, these were made of steel in its predecessor, M570, but now they are plastic.
I've been using this for a dozen hours now, including web browsing, file managing, text editing (in LibreOffice and vim), and CAD. Here's what I feel about it in general.
- It's beefier than my old ThinkPad mouse and fits my hand better
- Trackballs are cool
- The Logitech® Unifying™ USB® receiver works out-of-the-box on Linux®
- The motion is smooth and detection is precise (but I have no proof that it is more precise than my regular mouse)
- The ball never slips my thumb
- It saves desk space
- It's taller and thus less likely to get buried in piles of paper
- I no longer have to worry about pressing forward/back by mistake when clicking the middle button
- The right mouse button is too sensitive and sometimes depresses under the weight of my hand
- The left and right buttons on the scrollwheel are now two discrete, vertical buttons without context
- I just found if you hit these buttons with the tip of your finger real quick, you can trigger them electronically but not mechanically
- It's unfriendly to left-handed people
- It's harder to orient my hand immediately upon contact
- Hence, it's harder to switch my right hand from keyboard to mouse
- Hence hence, I'm more reluctant to do the reverse which puts more burden on my left hand
- The trackball feels kinda like a touchscreen you swipe on with your thumb. I was urgently producing some SVGs one night when I realized my actuation was less precise than before. Luckily I finished them before any lasting fatigue. (2022-06-24 update: Guess what else to blame? A piece of grime stuck on one of the rollers, now that I've taken out the trackball to check. Now it's smoother but I still find it tiring when used for hours.)
There is no conclusion. I told you there is no insight. I just wanted to share some cool new hardware. Now go do something else.